The most straightforward answer to this is: no, they are as different as the day is long. Let’s get a little bit into why that is.

Every business owner has experienced the problem of figuring out a way to keep all their products organized and out of harm’s way. As brain wrecking as it is to stay consistent with the process, it also becomes expensive; costing you time and money. Many businesses hire companies or experts to find a sustainable solution to this issue.

At this point, you may be exposed to words like Racking and Shelving. It is very easy to confuse the two terms or incorrectly interchange them.

Racking vs Shelving

The difference between racking and shelving is based on the size and weight of the product you deal with.

Racking is done for heavier and larger products that need lifting by forklifts or industrial equipment for processing and movement throughout the warehouse. Racking involves lesser space and accessible units for quick processing. This considerably shrinks the space required for the maintenance of a racking system.

Shelving is usually done for small and lightweight products that can be lifted and passed around by hand. Compare to racking, shelving on the other hand will demand a larger space for the product as well as the equipment used to haul the product around the warehouse. These systems can be used in combination as per the requirement of the production.

Let’s bite into the nuances of these systems.

What Is Pallet Racking?

Pallet racking system is extremely efficient in reducing the clutter off of the floor and automating the labor required to retrieve the pellets. It maximizes the warehouse space and fuels the loading and picking of the cartons. With a pellet racking system you are likely to see less clutter, lesser time in retrieving the pellet, faster packaging and processing.

There’s a wide range of options available for developing this warehouse racking system.

1. Selective Pallet Racking

Selective pallet racking is an inexpensive racking option that comes in a wide range of sizes and height selections. They are essentially designed to get your pallets off the floor and into the racks. The best part of this warehouse racking system is its flexibility.

You can reconfigure the entire system based on your changing needs and budget around the warehouse. It would look like a large bookshelf essentially with adjustable options.

2. Drive-in Pallet Racking

If you deal in products that are similar in size and weight, a drive-in warehouse racking system is great for you. As the name suggests, here everything is made locomotive friendly. We eliminate aisles completely to make retrieving easier with forklifts.

Drive-in pallet racking provides maximum depth area (front to back). You can picture it as large machines doing the lifting like your employees would with pellets that look smaller in comparison to the forklift.

3. Push Back Racking System

Push-back racking systems are great to maximize warehouse space and eliminate the use of heavy forklifts. A push-back racking system can be pictured as a tennis ball canister.

You simply roll in a ball one after the other and while retrieving you access the last rolled ball in first (last in first out). It is an extremely feasible warehouse racking option and reduces the number of aisles considerably.

4. Pallet Flow Racking System

The pallet flow racking system uses gravity rollers to automate pellet storage. You will observe an increased inventory turnover. If you deal in products that are expiration date sensitive and use heavy freezing, this is an ideal warehouse racking system for you.

The best thing about this warehouse racking system is that once loaded the product rotation is automatic.

What Is Shelving?

Warehouse shelving is for lightweight products that can be stacked by hand. Since most of the functioning is manual here it becomes necessary to have ease of access and an efficient shelving system to maximize your output.

While selecting a shelving system for your warehouse you might want to take into consideration factors like shelf height, durability, and suitability of shelf features with the nature of your product.

Here are some great shelving options for your warehouse.

1. Steel Shelving

Steel shelving is extremely popular because of its durability, ease of assembling, and maintenance. These shelves are extremely versatile and can be adjusted in height. They are available in nut and bolt form (considered outdated) and the modern compression clip form. Steel shelving is highly advisable for warehouse shelving.

2. Rivet Shelving

Rivet shelving is just as durable, versatile, and comes without bolts or clips. These types of shelving are especially preferable for maximum adjustment needed in terms of the size of the shelves in a warehouse. If you are going to need flexible space for your storage, this is the way to go for you.

3. Wire Shelving

Wire shelving isn’t popular for its durability and strength but it is extremely popular for the visual access it provides. These are especially suitable for adequate ventilation amongst the shelves for product shelf life sustainability. Wire shelving is extremely suitable for warehouse shelving with ease of visual access.

4. Bulk Rack Shelving

Bulk rack shelving actually isn’t bulky at all but lightweight shelves that can be assembled and disassembled as per the need for production. It is ideal for hand stacking. In warehouse shelving, bulk rack shelving is versatile and flexible.

5. Clipless Shelving

Clip-less shelving is a lightweight, versatile, and fairly easy-to-maintain warehouse shelving option. Even though it is small and lightweight it can hold up a very impressive amount of weight. This truly is the underdog of warehouse shelving.


When it comes to warehouse organization it ultimately boils down to what your product and roll out pattern is. In our recommendation it is best to be creative while combining the type of racking or shelving systems you would like, to maximize your output.

Keep in mind the durability, access and versatility of your warehouse racking and shelving system not only affects the processing time but also the safety and durability of your product.

Racking & Shelving Solutions In UAE

Are you wondering which one is the best warehouse storage solution for you from racking vs shelving? AL Kheera General Trading is here to help you choose the correct one. We are one of the leading racking and shelving suppliers in the UAE, ready to provide the right warehouse storage you needed.

CALL (+971) 50-9195922